The action was fast, and the crowd was loud, and Amy Moore Morton wouldn’t have had it any other way.
The inaugural Dancing With Our Stars fundraiser for Appalachian Ballet Company drew more than 200 people and raised more than $7,000 on Friday night, Feb. 12.
The crowd packed Top of the Plaza at Preservation Plaza to watch as eight male volunteers from the community paired up with dancers from the professional Appalachian Ballet Company for a dance competition similar to what is seen on television with shows like “Dancing with the Stars.”
Masters of ceremony for the evening were Morton and ABC Board of Trust president Clint Woodfin.
“We know we had over 200 people here, and we raised more than $7,000,” Morton said. “All the final figures are not in yet, but I thought everyone had an amazing time. David Talley sent a text and said he and his wife had been to a lot of ‘fru fru’ functions, but they had never had as much fun as this.”
Morton, artistic director for The Appalachian Ballet Company, said the event exceeded her expectations. “It was everything I dreamed of, but I didn’t have any idea we would have so many people there. We had a lot of people come at the last minute, which was wonderful.”
The competitors included George Williams dancing with Heather Wilcoxon; David Dwyer with Brittany Blum; Bob Hirche with Anne Souder; David Talley with Yvette Herzbrun; Lynn Cox with Mika Yoshida; Mike Kirby with Kristin Palacios; Jeff Mitchell with Caroline Anglim; and Lance Coleman with Megan Bledsoe.
Dr. Otto Slater, Fran Leonard, Dr. Fred Tolhurst and Rachel Brown judged the competition. Dwyer and Blum won with a disco routine.
There were also auction items donated by various businesses and individuals throughout the community. “I thought our auction items went over really well. We so appreciate all the people who donated all their time and energy to help make this happen,” Morton said.
Morton said organizers saw how things could be improved for next year’s event by doing things differently to open up the space better. “Everyone laughed and carried on and danced, and I just thought it was a great night. Our judges were fabulous, and all the contestants did so well. You had beautiful professional dancers with them, and I thought it was fabulous.”
Morton said the event was a great way to start a fun, romantic weekend. “I know a lot of people said they thought it was just a great Valentine’s date night. They had fun dancing and being entertained,” she said. “We have been asked if we will we do it again next year, and I believe we will.”
Helping to make the first event a success were the Appalachian Ballet Board of Trust members, who provided food and drink; the Parent’s Guild, who collected, built and ran the silent auction; the dancers, who practiced for weeks on routines and gathered their own costumes and members of the Ten Dollar Club, who assisted with publicity, organization and ticket sales.
For more videos of the dancing, check out our video page under media.